Coin with braille helps mark CNIB’s 100th anniversary

A new coin set that celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) includes the first Canadian coin to include braille and was designed by a partially-sighted artist.

The Royal Canadian Mint worked with Meghan Sims of Kitchener to create the commemorative silver coin and bronze medallion set. Born with a rare visual condition called Achromatopsia, she is fully colour blind. Her unique visual perception of the world around her has shaped and become characteristic of her artistic style.

The set celebrates a century of providing assistance to generations of blind and partially-sighted Canadians. Because Mint collectibles are typically encapsulated to maintain their pristine condition, a medallion is intentionally presented without a capsule so it can be experienced through touch. It captures many of the design elements found on the reverse of the silver coin, including the ‘100’ engraved in braille; an abstract eye over a mountain scene to represent the foundation of the CNIB; and a curved horizon evoking an eyelid, along which seven jack pines honour each of the CNIB’s founding members. The jack pine was chosen to symbolize the strength and resilience of people living with sight loss.

The coin’s obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Canadian artist Susanna Blunt. The set has a limited mintage of 3,000 and costs $219.95. It can be purchased by contacting the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 or online at It’s also available at participating Canada Post outlets.

CNIB commemorated a century of change and progress for Canadians who are blind or partially sighted at a national celebration on March 21. “When our seven founders came together a century ago, they envisioned a future of ability, opportunity and equality for every blind and partially-sighted citizen,” said John M. Rafferty, President and CEO of CNIB. “That vision has been at the centre of CNIB’s work ever since, propelling us to drive powerful change for the millions of Canadians we have served. That impact is their legacy, and we’re proud to celebrate it.” Visit or call 1-800-563-2642 to learn more.

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